It's predicted there will be a shortage of about 800,000 trades workers in Canada within the next decade.

It's predicted there will be a shortage of about 800,000 trades workers in Canada within the next decade.

A taste of the trades over summer

Surrey School District offers Grade 10 students unique 'exploration' program.

The Surrey School District is giving students the tools to explore a career in the trades.

This summer, the district will launch a new, one-of-a-kind, full-credit trades exploration program aimed at giving Grade 10 students the chance to experience the introductory and fundamental skills required in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and welding.

Students will learn essential skills such as how to measure, cut, wire, build and weld – skills that are needed for further success in school apprenticeship programs and the workplace.

“This is one way we can introduce students to apprenticeship and have further opportunity to explain how our district partnership programs could benefit them,” said Susan Chow, principal of career education.

The course curriculum was developed by a Surrey technology education teacher and the concept of the program is fully supported by the Industry Training Authority.

The program will emphasize math and literacy skills as they relate to trades, and give students direct insight into the rewards and challenges of trades careers. Each trade also has a safety component and students will learn about ladder/fall protection, hazardous materials and the specific risks associated with young and inexperienced workers.

The course, which runs full days four days a week, also includes guest speakers and field trips to post-secondary institutions and industry facilities.

“If students are unsure whether they want to pursue a career or further education in trades, this course is ideal,” said Chow. “It gives them hands-on experience in four different construction trades at an age when they would have time to be able to plan their courses and map those career pathways.”

Due to the retirement of current trades workers and a trend among young people over the past few decades to opt for work in high-tech and other sectors, it’s predicted Canada will be short about 800,000 trades workers in the next decade.

Registration for summer programs starts this month. Current students in the Surrey School District can register online at

Call 604-595-6077 for additional details.



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